From afar, the 2021 Mercedes EQC 400 looks like any sleek offering in the company’s lineup. In fact, it's reminiscent of the 2021 Mercedes GLE 450 we drove just a few weeks earlier. But the EQC 400 is in fact, an all-electric vehicle, which is something you’d never expect with a Mercedes. After all, these are bold, powerful cars with roaring engines that race down highways, so would the EQC 400 seem far too timid by comparison?
The lack of a fiery petrol engine doesn’t mean that the EQC 400 should be looked over in any way. It’s still just as stout as any car in the lineup, and the gorgeous matte finish of our review model is a fantastic look for this car. Sitting on 21-inch light-alloy wheels, the overall look of the EQC 400 is definitely one of style and substance. Not a fan of an EV that looks like it’s a toy car? Then the EQC 400 is the one for you.
Mercedes hasn’t skimped on the interiors either, with nappa leather finishes in black and white. The cabin is well-spaced, and you’ll get some great support and comfort from the driver and front-passenger seats. The rear seats are a little bit of a tighter fit than we’d like, but are still adequate for most journeys. The boot still has ample space to handle everyday gear like gym bags and groceries, but is also where you’ll stash your charging cables. Both 5m cables can be used either at a DEWA (or compatible) charging point, or connected to a standard 3-pin wall socket at home for a slower charge. Charging times to about 80% battery are approximately 60 minutes at a charging point, and around 10 hours if you're charging from a standard socket at home.
Engine or not, tech is certainly not something that the EQC 400 skips out on. You can add on the Driving Assistance package for fully-automated driving on the roads and better awareness, along with speed adjustment and steering assist. Parking cameras are a given, along with a heads-up display on the driver side.
Mercedes’ MBUX system returns as well, with voice control and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An added bonus is that if you’re navigating with the Mercedes system by default, your route is automatically calculated for you based on battery efficiency, and constantly updates based on your location. The free Mercedes Me app also allows features such as remote engine start, pre-entry climate control, and battery charging status.
Range is of course going to be the number one question for any electric vehicle, and the same applies to the EQC 400. Mercedes estimates that on a full charge you can squeeze out around 450km, but this will vary greatly depending on your driving style. Choosing between Comfort, Eco, Max Range, and Sport will each give you varying results – on Eco mode with the A/C on at all times, we were able to get around 380km before the battery needed to be topped up. That’s generally fine for city driving, as long as you are keeping an eye on the various driving tips that pop up in the car. Knowing when to stop accelerating or start braking is key to maximizing each charge, and the EQC 400 helps with this whenever it can.
Drive the EQC 400 on the road and you’ll soon feel the sacrifices that have been made. While handling is still quite responsive overall, the car does struggle slightly when leaning into corners, and you certainly can feel it struggle as it comes out of a bend.
Outside wind noise is barely audible, and the Burmester surround sound system certainly can drown out anything else you may happen to hear. Acceleration comes in at 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, which is slower than what you’d get from the likes of a Tesla Model X. But by comparison, the EQC 400 isn’t going for true breakneck speeds here, but rather something that hits the middle ground of style and performance.
Pricing of course will be a huge deciding factor for the EQC’s popularity. GCC starting price (inclusive 5% VAT) comes in at around AED290,311, with our review model being priced at AED346,317. That’s still cheaper than what a Model X is going for, but the tradeoffs are going to be shorter range in exchange for a much stylish and well-built car. If you’re a fan of EV cars and want something that looks much more premium, then the EQC 400 is an excellent car to drive around town.